How are you? This is the time of year when piano teachers are shouldering a lot of stress. The school year is starting, students are registering (or not!), materials need to be purchased, studios need to be set up, schedules need to be arranged (and then re-arranged). Actually, let’s not talk about that to-do list… it’s stressing me out!
As small business owners who depend on this income for a living, it’s no small task to run a successful piano studio; it’s one that most of us certainly don’t take lightly. And while others in the world are cozy in their cubicles, piano teachers are often left feeling the weight of the world on their shoulders.
Finding Your Zen Garden
While many parts of being a piano teacher can be wonderfully relaxing, other parts are intensely stress-inducing. And because they say that 98% of disease is related to stress, it’s so important to find your “Piano Teaching Zen Garden” in a pro-active way. So take a deep breath and prepare to let your worries trickle away as we explore how to find Zen in your piano studio through four of my favourite Zen-isms.
“Water which is too pure has no fish.”
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a hassle free studio?… No requests for make-up lessons, no missed payments, no late fees, no difficult students – absolutely! But with each of these things “muddying your waters” you are becoming more efficient, more compassionate, more savvy. You are building a tool-kit (or tackle box?!) of must-haves to become a thriving business person. View your inconveniences as opportunities for greatness. It’s all about perception.
“Don’t miss the donut by looking through the hole.”
I’m Canadian. I like this one. And it’s a good reminder to always look at the bigger picture. You may want to scream if you get one more request for “Only Thursday at 4:30 for her lesson time please”… but putting things into perspective is the only way to truly be successful. Sweating the small stuff leaves you lost in the details. You’ll miss out on bigger opportunities and you’ll waste reams of time muddling around in the mundane. Learn (quickly!) to prioritize; ask yourself “Is this truly a big deal?” and be honest with your answer.
“The journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.”
Our thousand mile journeys are all different – but regardless of your desired outcome you need to simply just begin. Decide what it is you hope to achieve and immediately take that first step towards your goal. Stress relief comes not only from having a clear goal in mind of where you are headed, but from setting small, realistic and achievable goals. This idea works for all aspects of a piano teaching studio… more students, more innovation, more excitement, more money… they are all reachable; you just have to take that first small step (and hey, reading this blog is a great first step! 😉 )
“When walking, walk. When eating, eat.”
It’s so difficult to separate work from home when you run your own business… but teaching yourself to designate work times will not only give you a feeling of peace, but will also set boundaries for your clients. Resist the urge to check email constantly. Have set call-back times for phone calls. Separate your office from your living space and immediately gain a better sense of organization. Your clients will view your business as a business (not a hobby or a lifestyle). You’ll accomplish more if you set aside work time rather than trying to multi-task. Easier said than done, but worth an honest effort.
Are you feeling zenned-out yet? Or do you need more inspiration on how to make your piano teaching business work for you? If so, check out our piano teaching guide, Piano Hands Shouldn’t Flip Burgers. Our 115 page resource gives you the blueprint for a stress-free and successful piano teaching studio. Find out why a reader recently said “I have found “Piano Hands Shouldn’t Flip Burgers” to be absolutely invaluable! It was exactly what I needed to revitalize my teaching approach and make many positive changes.”